By Tracy Achen
Healing after divorce involves rebuilding your life on your own terms. Just think... you can arrange the house to your liking... dress to your tastes... even cook the foods he detested. It’s exciting choosing your life’s direction and doing the things that you refrained from in order to please him.
One of the best things that you can do is to remove his “stuff” from your life. Why not let him have his favorite recliner, especially if it was never to your liking. Give him all his memorabilia from high school, family, sports and hobbies. All these things really hold no meaning to you, and their presence can bring back painful memories.
Next, you can start thinking about what you are going to do with the things that symbolized your marriage. Maybe consider putting your wedding album and memorabilia in storage so it doesn't make you reminisce about when times were good. You may be tempted to remove all pictures of your ex from the house, but family pictures can be a tricky subject if you have kids. Here are some ideas on how to handle family keepsakes and pictures after divorce.
You may also be ready to take off your wedding ring. It is totally a personal decision when to take it off, and some women prefer to continue wearing it for a while after their divorce. Some women save their ring to pass down to their children, while others want nothing to do with it and choose to sell their ring or rework it into something they will wear. Take your time and do what feels right for you.
This is also a good time to do a little spring cleaning. Go through your cabinets and get rid of anything you haven't used in ages, but have held onto "just in case". The same goes for your wardrobe. If your closet is packed with clothes you'll never wear, take the time to sort through and keep only the items you truly love that actually fit.
Getting rid of all the extra stuff you haven't used for years can feel like a weight has been lifted off your shoulders. And if you donate all the good items to charity, you'll be helping someone else in need. Starting your new life with a clean slate will give you the momentum to keep moving forward.
Part of this process may mean re-inventing your friendships. Some of your married friends may not feel comfortable with you right now. It’s as if your divorce threatens to cause problems in their marriage. Or they may be jealous of your new found freedom. Whatever the reason for their distance, try not to take offense. In time, they may come around to accepting the person you are now.
Meanwhile, stick with the friends who willingly support you and are there for you when you need to rant, rave, and cry. Having a shoulder to lean on can save your sanity at times. And be sure to share the fun times with your buddies as well. Laughing and having a good time while you're surrounded by people who care just gives a little extra spark to your life.
Joining a support group will give you the chance to talk to other people also healing from the wounds of divorce. And having a support system can help you cope with the inevitable stress you will face. You can check the paper for support groups or your church for any divorce recovery programs being sponsored. The United Way is also a good source or information on support groups and can also help you locate a shelter if you need one. Click here to look up your local United Way. You can also check out Divorce Care for local chapters.
You can get addition support and information to help you begin overcoming the aftermath of divorce by reading Rebuilding: When Your Relationship Ends (#ad). It is an excellent guide to attaining a satisfying lifestyle after divorce.
There is no doubt that divorce can rock your world, leaving you sad and disoriented. Keep reading for more tips on handling the various emotions you may be dealing with: